The mining industry’s long-held ability to take private property through eminent domain could be on its way out. The Nevada Senate passed a bill last week to end the use of eminent domain for mining and sugar beet industries. SB86 was sponsored by Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, and was approved nearly unanimously. Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, was the only senator to vote against the bill. Rhoads’ district contains many of Nevada’s largest mines.
Residents of Silver City, where Comstock Mining is exploratory drilling several gold and silver claims, have been concerned that eminent domain could be invoked against them. Comstock Mining CEO Corrado De Gasperis told the RN&R last month (“Comstock goes boom,” Green, Feb. 3) that the company has no plans to use eminent domain, calling the notion of it “insane.” Residents, however, prefer not to take chances, and several went before lawmakers to show their support of the amendment, which will now move to the Assembly.